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How to Support Someone with a Mental Health Condition

Published on: May 20, 2024

Life can be tricky sometimes, and everyone feels down occasionally. But sometimes, these feelings can be overwhelming and last a long time. This could be a sign of a mental health condition. Life throws curveballs at us sometimes. What do we do?

How Do I Know If Someone Has a Mental Health Problem?

There’s no single answer, but some signs to look for include:

  • Significant mood changes, like feeling very sad or anxious for weeks. 
  • Trouble sleeping or eating. 
  • Loss of interest in things they used to enjoy. 
  • You are feeling withdrawn from friends and family.
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions. 
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless. 

How Can You Help?

What is the best thing you can do to help? The best you can do is be there for them and offer your support. 

Talking about Mental Health 

We know talking about mental health can be scary, but it’s an important step. 

1.    Set Time Aside with No Distractions 

Find a quiet place to talk. Similarly, whoever you are trying to help should feel your whole attention is on them. There should be no interruptions while you are talking. Turn off your phones and focus solely on your friends. 

2.    Let Them Share as Much or As Little as They Want

Don’t ever pressure someone going through something to tell you what’s going on. Please give them the space to figure it out independently and welcome them with open arms. Moreover, let them know you’re happy to listen, no matter how much they choose to share. 

3.    Don’t Try to Diagnose or second-guess their Feelings 

You are not a therapist. Your job is to be there for them as a friend. Similarly, your friends need someone to listen, not analyze. Validate their feelings and let them know it’s okay to feel like they do. 

4.    Keep Questions Open Ended

Once you do this, it will encourage them to share more than a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Ask questions that show genuine interest in their experience, like “What’s been the hardest part lately?” or “Is there anything specific that makes you feel better?”

5.    Talk About Self-Care

Everyone has different coping mechanisms. Ask them what things help them feel better, like exercise, spending time with loved ones, and practicing relaxation techniques. Plus, even taking a simple bath can help. 

6.    Listen Carefully to What They Tell You 

Please pay attention to their words and body language. Moreover, look for nonverbal cues that might indicate they’re struggling more than they’re letting on. 

7.    Offer Seeking Professional Support 

Offer them help in seeking professional support and provide information on ways to do this. Let them know some people can help them feel better. Additionally, you should help them find a therapist or doctor if they’re open to it. You can even help them research therapists online and book them an appointment. 

8.    Know Your Limits 

You can’t fix everything, but you can be a supportive friend. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know what to say,” or “This sounds difficult. Is there anything specific I can do to help?”

How Do I Respond to a Crisis?

Firstly, ask them what would help them feel safe. Maybe it’s staying with them, calling a loved one, or helping them remove any potential means of self-harm.

Secondly, reassure them that you care and you’re there for them. Furthermore, let them know they’re not alone and that you want to help them get through this.

If they’re feeling suicidal, don’t leave them alone. Call a crisis hotline or take them to the emergency room. Here are some resources that can help:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988

The Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741

How Do I Respond If Someone Is Suicidal?

  • Don’t judge them or tell them things will be okay if you don’t believe it. 
  • Ask them directly if they are thinking about suicide. 
  • Remove any means of self-harm from the area. 
  • Stay with them until help arrives. 

How Do I Look After Myself While Caring for Someone with a Mental Illness?

Taking care of yourself while taking care of others is very important. What are some self-care tips?

Set boundaries

You can’t help someone else if you’re burned out. It’s okay to say “no” sometimes and prioritize your well-being.  

Finding Healthy Ways to Manage Stress

Chronic stress can damage mental and physical health. Exercise and relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation are great ways to manage stress. Spending time in nature can also help. Listening to calm music or pursuing hobbies you enjoy can also be helpful. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help from Friends, Family, or a therapist.

There are so many people out there who are willing to help us out. Talking to a therapist can be a great way to process your feelings and learn healthy coping mechanisms. 

Educate Yourself About Mental Health Conditions

The more you know about your friend’s condition, the better equipped you will be to support them. Many places online are willing to offer and provide telehealth services. 

Focus on the Positive

Supporting someone with a mental health condition can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. In addition, always celebrate their victories, no matter how small, and focus on their progress.

Remember, you’re not alone

There are many people who are struggling with mental health conditions or supporting loved ones who are. There are online communities and support groups available where you can connect with others who understand what you’re going through.

Where to Get Help?

Harmony United Psychiatric Care is one of the best places to get help when you or someone else is struggling with mental health issues. We are Florida’s most reliable and compassionate mental health clinic. Plus, we offer telehealth services for your convenience. Give us a call today to book an appointment with one of Florida’s finest therapists. 

Let Harmony United Psychiatric Care Help You!

Harmony United Psychiatric Care has a team of professionally qualified mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and counselors specializing in teens. We offer individual therapy, medication management, and other evidence-based treatment options to help teenagers succeed in mental health challenges and realize their maximum potential.

For more information about mental health conditions, visit our Mental Health Library page. To understand and cope with your major depressive disorder symptoms, get help from our top psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists, who are known for providing the best mental health treatment and psychiatry services. To book an appointment, please call us at (800) 457-4573 or submit an appointment request.

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